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Partiko: Steem’s #1 App

This week we’re sharing one of our favorite projects in publishing:Partiko. As you all know, we are passionate about content and education, and the importance of bringing more control and compensation to content creators. This is identical to the mission of Steem and Partiko.

Side Wang, Founder and CEO of Partiko, wrote this letter in response to a big issue in Steem, Hard Fork 20. During this code update, the entire system grinded to a halt and became virtually unusable for 5 days.The letter is great commentary on the state of blockchain and the tough decisions we take day to day in this new decentralized revolution. If there is one thing you need to do after reading this genuine letter about growing a startup and handling challenges, its go and download the Partiko app.

Dear Steemians and Partiko lovers,

What a week! We wish things can always go as we expect, but it’s never easily the case. There’s an old Chinese saying, “人生不如意十之八九”, which literally translates into “eight or nine years out of ten of your life doesn’t go as you expect”. That’s not an excuse for the mistakes we have made. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: we continue to fight, even though we know the road ahead is only going to get even tougher.

Sometimes I think the blockchain space is maturing, as we see more projects both in the infrastructure level and the application level popping up everyday. However you quickly realize that’s not the case, especially when you talk to people around you about cryptocurrency. Nine years after the Bitcoin genesis block, an old friend of mine, a very experienced engineer in the Silicon Valley, is still telling me that he worries about “losing money” due to potential software bugs in the Bitcoin blockchain when he holds bitcoin.

That’s the situation we’re dealing with right now, which reminds me of the Internet in the late 90s. I remember reading a book where a Chinese entrepreneur wrote in the IPO letter of his company saying he’s “unsure” whether the Internet will still be around in the future. While there are certainly people who are always highly doubtful about the potential of cryptocurrencies and their real-world use case, Partiko is extremely excited. We’re excited about a new era, the new possibilities, and the opportunity to reshape human society with the disruptive power of cryptocurrency.

At Partiko, we’re dedicated to building a social network that revolutionizes the revenue model for content creators. To achieve this mission, we chose a young yet the most advanced blockchain for building social networks on top of, the Steem blockchain.

Building a business on the blockchain is anything but easy. On the one hand, we serve our passionate users, most of whom have very limited knowledge about the underlying technology. On the other hand, we work with blockchain technology, the single most disruptive yet young technology that still needs years of development to reach its maturity. Connecting the bridge will definitely bring a lot of value, but it also presents us with many difficult challenges.

One of the most difficult challenges is to deliver a super intuitive and effective user experience that allows people to easily interact with each other on the blockchain. To that end, we have built the Partiko Push Notification System, which has already delivered over one million push notifications just within 4 months. We have also built the Partiko Android and iOS app with 100% native technology and design language. Our technology, product ability and compassion for our users helped us achieved where we are today: the most active app on the Steem blockchain.

However, the challenge doesn’t stop there. Partiko is evolving, and so is the Steem blockchain. What happened last week is a good example. In the first 5 days after Hard Fork 20, most of the users lost the ability to make posts and comments. That got me worried because for a social blockchain like Steem, the value of the network is extremely dependent on user activity and engagement. It seems clear to everyone that Hard Fork 20 was not well tested, and both Steemit, Inc. and the witnesses should take the blame, Partiko included.

And how does a decentralized system ensure code quality, so that there won’t be another event like this to hurt the many innocent users? My answer is to build businesses. Only real businesses dealing with real customers can ensure quality, and there’s no way around it.

Many will think “I can totally trust the blockchain developer with their code quality, because if they wrote buggy code, the tokens they’re holding will be worthless”, which has been proven not to be the case. Without a real business, it’s hard to solely rely on people’s shared interest in the token price to ensure quality. If you made a bug, and have no idea who or how many people it will affect, there’s no way you can realize how bad it is, and there’s no incentive for you to fix it in a timely manner. Businesses dealing with real customers will help create that compassion.

In the case of the Steem blockchain, or any other blockchain with real applications, that means more businesses need to participate more in testing, or even developing the software to build a solid foundation for good user experience. Partiko as a Steem witness also promises to participate more in the testing of the Steem blockchain software, because if we don’t, we will be severely punished by losing our users and ruining our business.

Apple is a perfect example for that. Did you know that the one browser engine that drives the entire web today: WebKit, was optimized and re-open-sourced by Apple? With due respect, had there not been a real business serving real customers, it’ll probably be a lot harder for the webkit library to achieve its quality and performance today solely based on the effort of the non-profit open source community.

So here we are, at the dawn of the next decade’s revolution, building a business with an entirely new business model that’s serving an incredibly talented group of people. We’ll use our passion to deliver the best product and create the most value to our users, at the same time work incredibly hard to help mature the blockchain technology and grow with the industry.

Together, let’s change the world.

Onwards and upwards,
Sida

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